Dr. Mark Downey for Virginia House of Delegates, 96th District
The Network for Public Education Action is pleased to endorse Dr. Mark Downey for Virginia House of Delegates, 96th district (Williamsburg, VA). Mark is a member of the York-Poquoson Democratic Committee, his local chapter of Moms Demand Action, and regularly attends meetings for his local chapters of the Sierra Club, NAACP, and Indivisible groups. Mark grew up in the 96th district and attended public schools before furthering his education at the University of Virginia and later in medical school. His four children are attending the same schools and he is the proud spouse of a special education teacher. Mark values the education that public schools offer.
Mark tells NPE Action that he is running because the “96th district has been misrepresented for years by leaders who have voted against education funding, access to healthcare, environmental protections, and equality.” Mark believes that the 96th district deserves a leader who seeks unity rather than division and he wants to represent all constituents, not just those who vote a certain way.
Here is where Mark stands on some of the issues:
Mark will require companies and organizations that manage charter schools to release to parents and the public how they spend taxpayer money, including their annual budgets and contracts. Mark also supports a moratorium on charter schools. Mark stated that, “Transparency to the public is critical, especially as it relates to taxpayer dollars. I do not support charter schools.”
Mark does not support the use of vouchers or any other tax advantages to follow students to private or parochial schools. Mark feels that our public schools should be our funding priority.
Mark knows that appropriate class sizes are critical for our teachers to be able to effectively do their job and educate. Mark told NPE Action that “As cuts have been made to public education, we’ve seen class sizes go up. This is not only wrong, but it does a disservice to our students. I would be happy to support legislation that reduces class sizes.” Mark would like to see a teacher’s aide placed in each classroom so that additional support can be provided to the students, especially in integrated classrooms that have both traditional and special needs students.
Mark believes that children are being tested too often. He told NPE Action that we should lessen the number of tests, but better focus our efforts on the testing of the application of knowledge as it relates to skills needed in the future, not on memorization.
Mark is an outstanding candidate. We urge voters to cast their vote for him in the general election on November 2, 2021.